The word shaman may be familiar to you, and undoubtedly, you are quite aware what it means. I am from Slovakia, a country without the tradition of shamans. Our forefathers made their living by growing potatoes in the fields. Farming completely covered their relationship to the nature and spiritual side of life. They dealt with spirits mostly (and, surprisingly, very often) in the healing sessions in a local village inn. The innkeeper indeed served as a medium between the world of spirits (unfortunately, quite a visible) and the world of the potato growers (when struck by lack of money, then quite invisible). So the medium was there, but no healing or magic… just a short memory dropout or headache next day.
Regularly they went to listen to words of wisdom in Latin from the priest in the church. Nobody had an idea what was spoken (they hardly could read or write their own language, forget Latin), but they knew exactly when to kneel, bend, stand up, sit down, weep or shake the hand of a bystander. And there was wine for free at the end of the session. But I do not think any curing or healing resulted from these gatherings.
Your concern is to recover and heal your soul and you expect some words of wisdom and consolation. I hear you saying: “You better deliver or I will turn to the next article! “Surely you are not interested in the dictionary definitions or the history of a nation of which you can hardly imagine its existence. The cure and the recovery is what matters to you now, right?
Well, here I have to note how amazed I am by the number of people who are today interested in a cure or a soul recovery. The number just indicates how many people do not feel healthy. All expect somebody to come and perform healing—a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an expert in self-development, a good soul with compassion, or just a sensitive neighbor. They all can often perform a healing which was delegated to shamans in aboriginal tribes.
In fact, I am not sure if the aboriginal people had a problem with the health of their soul. Of course, an injury happened sometimes. But I have never read they would need a self-recovery treatment. I have never heard of a shaman busy with low self-esteem, aimlessness, depression, neurosis, or schizophrenia of his tribal fellows.
Returning back to my forefathers—in spite of their limited life scope I described above, they had no need to be healed either. They did not suffer depression; they did not seek consolation or soul recovery.
It is just interesting that the soul is not being healthy in our advanced culture while it was quite fit in the old days, or in the environment of the “savage” society. Were the people healthier because they had simpler lives? Is the advancement of culture causing the rise of soul and mind diseases? Shall we make a choice and stop advancing? Shall we return back to the simpler way of life? What is actually a simpler way of life? Can we manage that without healing sessions, shamans, psychologists? Can we figure out a healthy way of life?
I suggest looking back at the ones who succeeded to break down the pattern of mental illnesses. Our grandparents, who kept moving and working in the field whole life and never had a problem with their soul. I am reminded of my schoolmate’s grandmother: at age 75, she still spent each day working on the field and could push a vehicle full of vegetables two miles to her home; never visited a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but was always in good humor.
Another example from our European experience. It is said the Jewish humor is one of the best. Everybody likes to listen—loud laughs guaranteed. And it is as well said that the source of the Jewish humor was pogrom. Pogrom was an organized persecution or extermination of Jews, particularly in Russia. That’s why Rose Blumkin decided at the age of 13 to escape from Minsk to America. But the good humor might be one of the factors why they kept going and overcame hard times.
Can the humor be of any help? I believe there are sort of shamans who can provide cure with their excellent sense of humor; who can mediate between the two worlds and bring about healing. Humor cures, and I mean intelligent and deep humor. Seek good humor. There is difference in being witty and being ridiculous. I am not talking about putting red ball on a nose, getting women’s clothes on a man, and using distorted voice while talking embarrassing stories full of sexual ambiguities. I am not talking about humor hardly qualifying to become part of a high school students’ program. I am talking about something deep, something when you hear it, you just laugh immensely, but after an hour or two, you experience strong, deep enlightenment that the joke was expressing something very, very serious, and you get a meaningful lesson to your life. And next two days, you walk as if in dreams, filled with the energy of the humor which is so much serious. And then, the recovery arrives.
A shaman is not necessarily a religious specialist. I can tell you about our experience living in the past decades in a former communistic block. Our shamanistic healing sessions took place in little theatres or movies created behind the Iron Curtain. The humor was great and kept us in a good condition. There was a generation of great humorists—shamans, who took such good care of our small nation. I believe these kinds of people are spread over the world even today. Find them. It is about your health, isn’t it?
About the Author
Michal Splho is a cover/layout designer and painter. Based in Bratislava, Slovakia, Michal has established himself over the years as a freelance online designer and cover/layout artist, who gets projects from international customers, both individuals and companies. Interested readers can visit Michal Splho’s website to learn more about him and his work.